bittersweet (Rachael Inciarte)

I ate my placenta after the second baby 

damn right that I did

after all I worked so hard

to birth the thing, the organ is what I mean

because my girl she slipped out so quick 

that the nurses told me I’d tear, said

don’t rocket that baby out

as if I could keep her bottled in

well guess who

did not think much of the wait


what it looks like is a cut 

of raw beef

the placenta, I mean

& the nurses will try to hide it

weird because they were almost hungry 

to shove her beneath my jaw

the baby, who also smelled steely

but both are uncanny enough to admire

what never existed before suddenly 

made real


keep it on ice— 

the organ

(keep it warm— 

the child)

do what you must to the meat 

grind down what was you & yours

do what you need to become Mother 

surrender your once body to fill up hers

reclaim the bitters of what is left over 

while she siphons off the sweet


Rachael Inciarte (she/they) lives in California with their family. A Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, their work appears in Poetry Northwest, Spillway, Miracle Monocle, and others. Their chapbook, What Kind of Seed Made You was published in 2021.


image: “Red:” Andrea Damic lives in Sydney, Australia. She has been published in 50-Word Stories and Friday Flash Fiction. You can find her on Twitter @DamicAndrea. One day she hopes to finish and publish her novel. In spare time she takes photos and creates Art.